Sheba shares its heart with the North


Sheba’s dedication to healthcare goes far beyond its own walls. From international medical innovations to building up the level of healthcare around Israel, Sheba is committed to saving lives wherever there is a need. Having invested in staff training and professional development, Sheba is now sharing its expertise bringing high quality healthcare to more remote areas of Israel.

As part of this commitment, Sheba entered into a partnership with Poriya Medical Center in Tiberias to help fill a pressing need for cardiac treatments. Sheba Medical Center’s senior cardiac surgeon, Dr. Erez Kachel, now has a dual role as the Head of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit at Poriya.

The unit provides a vital service for people living in northern Israel. Dr. Kachel explained, “People living in central Israel have 6 Cardiothoracic Surgery Units to choose from. Before we opened the unit at Poriya, someone living in the Galilee/Golan Heights regions would have to drive almost two hours to the closest cardiothoracic surgery unit.”

Now, residents of the north are able to receive the same level of service as Israelis in Israel’s center, thanks to the full range of heart treatments being performed at Poriya. The surgical success rate at Poriya stands level with that of Sheba.

As a result of the hard work and cooperation of the medical staff, the unit was successful from its inception. Dr. Kachel related, “Our journey began in November 2014, when we started building the new unit at Poriya. The plan was to perform about 70 surgeries during the first year. In reality, the rate of surgeries performed doubled. We performed 130 heart surgeries in the first 10 months!”

Although the unit at Poriya was created to meet a local need, it has also drawn patients from Central Israel and Haifa. Dr. Kachel is a leader in the area of post-cardiac surgery infections in Israel, and his expertise has attracted patients from out of the area to receive treatment.

Dr. Kachel is quick to praise the Sheba team for their contribution. “It’s important to acknowledge that without the professional and logistic support of Sheba’s staff – Professor Raanani and the medical management who dedicated themselves to the success of the program – we would not be where we are today.”

Other senior heart surgeons from Sheba who are taking part in this initiative include: Dr. Leonid Sternik, Dr. Alexander Lipey, Dr. Ami Shinfeld. Dr. Amgad Shelby and Dr. Eyal Nachum.

When needed, other staff members from Sheba are also called upon to assist with the surgical procedures, including anesthesiologists, cardiopulmonary bypass technicians and O.R nurses. Medical equipment is also loaned to Poriya as needed.

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